Best Dog Friendly Restaurants

If you’re a dog owner, then you know that taking your furry friend out to eat can be a bit of a challenge. Not all restaurants are pet-friendly, and even those that do, often have restrictions on what kinds of dogs they’ll allow inside.

I love to bring my pup out to eat, and I’m always on the lookout for good places that let me seat my pup under the table.

But what if you want to go out to eat? Fear not! Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants that are happy to have your furry friend by your side.

So where can you go with your lovable pup without having to leave them at home?

Check out our list of the best dog friendly restaurants, tips on how to enjoy them with your pup, and what makes a restaurant dog-friendly.


What Makes A Restaurant Dog Friendly?

The number one thing that makes a restaurant dog-friendly is whether or not they have outdoor seating. While dogs are allowed inside some restaurants, few places will allow your pup to sit under the table with you.

Because of this, the only way to ensure that your pup can join you for dinner is if there is outdoor seating or a patio where your dog is allowed. If there’s no outdoor seating, then you’ll probably need to leave your furry friend at home.

Some restaurants also have dog-friendly policies, like having a dedicated place where your pup can sit comfortably or providing water and treats.

If you’re looking for a place to eat with your pup, be sure to ask the restaurant if they have any special policies in place that cater to dog owners. There might be special times or days where pets are welcome (or not!), and some cities or locations may differ from others.

Also, if you are someone who loves to go on an adventure with your dog such as hiking, then it’s only fair to buy them dog boots for hiking to protect their paws.

6 Top Dog Friendly Restaurants To Bring Your Dog

There’s no need to leave your furry friend at home when you head out to eat! There are plenty of restaurants that not only allow dogs but welcome them with open arms. 

small dog inside a restaurant

Here are six of our favorites.


Chances are that your local Applebee’s will have a patio so you can enjoy a delicious meal with your dog. You can even attend a dog-friendly “Yappy Hour” in Richmond, Virginia.

However, you should call ahead to confirm that your local Applebee’s is open to four-legged guests.

As you may have noticed, we recommend calling ahead frequently. Many restaurants have outside patios that allow dogs and are becoming more dog friendly. 

However, rules vary from one location to the next. It’s a good idea not to leave your home without calling the restaurant to confirm that your pet is allowed.

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

This Mexican restaurant can be enjoyed for lunch and dinner. The freshest ingredients are used, and they make their salsa and beans every day. They offer a wide range of items including Enchiladas (Burritos), Taco Salads (Quesadillas), Nachos, Chicken, Steak, and many other dishes.

The best part? You can bring your dog along to the outdoor tables with you, as long as it’s on a leash and well-behaved. They might even get a little treat from the waitstaff if they are extra good!

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream shops are usually walk-up. Many of their restaurants welcome dogs.

Brusters offers all-outdoor seating that makes it comfortable and accessible for dogs. A complimentary “doggy-sundae” is available, which includes a scoop of ice cream with a biscuit shape and small bones. It’s always our favorite spot after a day at the dog parks!

There are cool treats for everyone!

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel’s policy is that dogs are welcome as long as they’re leashed and well-behaved. Although they are not allowed inside, many of them have a designated pet area outside the restaurant, which is great if you’re out on a long road trip with your pup. 

Most of them are shaded too which is perfect.

In addition to a great pet policy, they also serve up some delicious country cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You can order up your favorite chicken or steak dish alongside some southern-style sides like macaroni & cheese (we think the cheesy type is the best) and green beans.

If you’re headed to Cracker Barrel with your furry friend, be sure to call ahead for seating availability. Try and grab one of their famous ‘rocking chairs’ while you’re there…your pooch will love you for it!

Dairy Queen

Can you share your ice cream with your furry best friend during a rainy or sunny afternoon? You bet!

The Dairy Queen secret menu for dogs is now available. Yes, Dairy Queen offers a secret menu and it even includes a special dish for dogs!

Take your dog with you to Dairy Queen and take it straight to the drive-thru for the best menu hack ever: the pup cup.

The Dairy Queen secret menu puppy cup is a small dish made of Dairy Queen soft serve and topped with a dog biscuit. The best part? It’s free!

Just ask for it at the drive-thru window, and they will be more than happy to serve up your pup’s favorite meal.


Pour yourself a coffee and grab your dog.

The ‘Puppuccino’ is a must-have on this list. Ask your barista to make this tasty treat for your dog. It’s made with a small amount of espresso and whipped cream.

dog looking at the cupcake on the cafe table

No need to leave the pooch at home when you head out for some caffeine, thanks to Starbucks’s pet policy. Dogs are welcome to join you at most Starbucks locations. You can sit outside in the dog-friendly section.

Make sure to ring ahead if you’re planning on taking your furry friend with you, as some Starbucks stores or locations may have different rules.

Tips To Enjoy A Restaurant Trip With Your Dog

I love taking my lovable friend with me when I go out to eat, but it can be a little tricky. I found out the hard way that not every restaurant is prepared for a dog to just saunter up with you.

It can be quite embarrassing when asked to leave because of your pup, so I have offered some helpful tips in this blog post about how to enjoy a restaurant trip with your dog

Here are my top tips to make your restaurant experience more enjoyable:

1) Eat Early Or Late

One of the best ways to avoid any issues when taking your dog with you to eat is to try and go during off-hours. Most restaurants are busiest during lunch and dinner time, so try and go early in the morning or later in the evening.

This will help to avoid any problems with other guests and also means that you can take advantage of outdoor seating at some restaurants.

2) Walk Your Dog Before You Dine

Schedule a good walk and a bathroom break before you go to the restaurant. Give your dog food before entering the restaurant if your dog is hungry and allow your dog to relax and go to the toilet before entering the restaurant.

3) Bring A Bed Or Blanket

If your pup is comfortable, bring along their bed or favorite blanket to place on the ground next to you. This will help them to feel secure and relaxed.

4) Check Ahead For Pet Policies

Always call the restaurant ahead of time to confirm that they allow dogs – this will avoid any surprises or embarrassing moments when you arrive.

5) Bring Treats And Toys

Pack some treats and toys to keep your dog occupied during the meal. This will help them to stay calm and content.

6) Clean Up After Your Dog

Make sure to clean up any messes that your dog may make during the meal. This is respectful to other guests and restaurant staff,

7) Make Sure Your Dog Is On A Leash

Even if the restaurant allows dogs, make sure to keep your dog on a leash at all times. This is for the safety of your dog and others in the restaurant.

8) Respect Others’ Space

If someone doesn’t want to be near your dog, don’t force them. Just be respectful and don’t allow your dog to invade other people’s space. This will avoid any awkward moments and people will be more likely to accept your dog if you’re respectful of them.

9) Don’t Use The Restaurant Plates As Your Dog’s Food Bowl

This is just common courtesy. Don’t use the restaurant plates as your dog’s food and water bowls – it’s rude to the staff and other guests. Bring your own!

10) Find A Corner Patch

If there’s a designated dog-friendly area, try and sit in the corner where your dog will have plenty of space to relax. This will help them to feel comfortable and avoid any distractions.

It will also help avoid them being in the way of any waitstaff or other guests.

11) Keep Your Dog Off The Furniture

Even if there is a designated dog-friendly area, make sure to keep your pup off of the restaurant’s furniture. This will help them to avoid any problems and also show respect for other guests in the restaurant.

12) Leave A Good Tip

Be sure to leave a good tip for the waitstaff, especially if they’ve been accommodating of your dog. A good tip will show your appreciation and help to ensure that they’ll be dog-friendly in the future.

13) Don’t Forget To Have Fun!

Your pooch will thank you for taking them out with you on an adventure. So enjoy your time at the restaurant and take in all of the sights and smells!

girls and pets sitting at a cafe

The more they enjoy it the better behaved they will be.

People Also Ask

Is Cafe Nero Dog Friendly?

Some locations and stores differ in their animal policy. Some Cafe Nero locations welcome dogs in outdoor seating areas and offer water bowls for your furry friends. However, make sure to ring ahead before you go to avoid any disappointment.

Can You Take Dogs In Wetherspoons?

Dogs are not permitted in hotels, pubs, or any other area that belongs to Wetherspoons or is managed by them. This includes beer gardens, car parking lots, and areas on the pavement. While this may sound harsh, their pubs are busy, as they are full of people and families.

Is COSY Club Dog Friendly?

COSY Club does not allow dogs in their main restaurant, but your pet is allowed in the bar or lounge area. bar or lounge area. However, they do have a policy that allows assistance dogs to come into the restaurant. If you are traveling with an assistance dog, please make sure to notify the staff before arrival.

Is Honest Burger Dog Friendly?

Some of the Honest Burgers are dog-friendly, but you can double-check their policy by contacting them in advance. Some locations allow leashed dogs inside during lunch hours. However, they ask that you make sure to keep your pet on a leash at all times. Some also offer pet treats.


Having a well-behaved dog by your side can add to the dining experience for both you and your furry friend.

Dogs provide unconditional love, and what could be better than returning that love with a delicious meal out? However, not all restaurants are dog-friendly, so be sure to do your research before heading out.

Also, I would recommend ringing the place before you go so you don’t get turned away. While it may say they are a dog-friendly restaurant, there could be certain restrictions you’re not aware of.

If you follow my simple tips above, you’re respectful of other guests and your dog is well-behaved, then enjoying a meal at a dog-friendly restaurant can be a fun and relaxing experience for everyone involved.

Just remember to always bring your own food and water bowls!

Do you bring your dog to restaurants with you? What is your and your dog’s favorite dog-friendly restaurant?

Share your experience in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

1 thought on “Best Dog Friendly Restaurants”

  1. Hello Lovelia! For dog owners like me, it’s really difficult to find a dog-friendly restaurant. As you mentioned, not all restaurants are pet friendly, and even those that do often have restrictions on what kinds of dogs they allow. All your recommended dog-friendly restaurants really help me. Thank you for writing an informative blog. Keep sharing.


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